Irish AncestryOf the numerous welcome guests, who come to stay annually at Lisheen Castle, many do so in the hope of tracing long lost Irish ancestry. It is from here they choose to set up base camp, thus granting themselves easy and equal access to all parts of Ireland during this, their first Irish journey of discovery.

Visitors to Lisheen Castle, interested in tracing Irish genealogy, should note that the National Library of Ireland (NLI) has this month announced that it will be digitizing its currently held ‘Parish Records’ with effect from July 8th 2015.

Access to all newly digitized ‘Parish Records’ will now be provided free via online access. [ See Ireland Reaching Out.]

Local ‘Parish Register Records’ (‘Parish’ – A church territorial land divide under the clerical jurisdiction of a parish priest.) are without doubt a most important source of historic information today relating to Irish family backgrounds, prior to the Census of 1901. Same date in many cases from the 1740′s through to the 1880′s, covering 1,091 parishes throughout the island of Ireland; their content consisting primarily of baptismal and marriage records.

This online access will be especially important for those attempting to find ancestors pre-1864, after which date Ireland first began the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths.

Previously persons requiring access to parish records, often in the hope of filling in those missing ‘branches’ on family tree’s, had to visit the NLI’s Genealogy Microfilm Reading Room situated on Kildare Street in Dublin, or indeed pay an outside service or independent researchers to access such records on their behalf.

In recent years access to such documentation had been hampered often by high cost, high demand and an ever increasing pressure on resources. Now, by putting existing ‘Parish Records’ online, same will grant open access to the Irish Diaspora world-wide, while also encouraging same to visit Ireland and the territory from which their ancestors once emigrated.